The evolution of the McLaren marque
Any brand that has existed for more than half a century will have undergone many changes of identity. Not least McLaren, whose current corporate identity bears little resemblance to its first.
But just how did the company’s brand come to be?
The McLaren crest was created by motorsport artist Michael Turner in 1964. It featured the kiwi, the national bird of New Zealand, which was the birthplace of team founder Bruce McLaren.
The crest morphed into the famous ‘speedy Kiwi’, a more stylised version of the bird, which featured on our cars throughout the 1970s.
A change of ownership, when McLaren merged with Ron Dennis’s Project Four, resulted in a strikingly modern identity at the start of the 1980s. With a new logo created by industrial designer Raymond Loewy, the ’80s logo incorporates the livery of then-title sponsor Marlboro into the branding.
The story of the marque
Throughout the 1980s and ’90s, the team name and logo continued to develop, changing as we agreed new partnerships with Honda, Peugeot and Mercedes-Benz.
The Marlboro-influenced chevron was replaced by the swoosh, or speedmark, which first appeared on our silver-liveried cars in 1997.
A new corporate identity was struck in 2007, when the team became Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, carrying over the more refined corporate font that first appeared at the start of the millennium.
As McLaren Mercedes, we retained the swoosh and the distinctive font for 2014. And now, with the dawn of a new McLaren Honda era, who knows what 2015 will bring…?